GOP Leader Renews Call for Special Pelosi, Hoyer Probe
House Republican Leader John Boehner reissued his call for a special House Ethics subcommittee investigation into the response by House Democratic leaders to sexual harassment allegations against former Democratic Rep. Eric Massa.
The Ethics Committee is already conducting an investigation, but Boehner wants a special panel with subpoena power to take over the probe.
Boehner renewed his demand Tuesday after the Washington Post published new details about Massa's sexual overtures toward male staffers.
As previously reported, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer were informed about the congressman's behavior by Massa aides. Massa resigned last month after it was reported that he was the object of a harassment investigation.
Hoyer's office was notified in February about accusations that Massa, a New York freshman, had propositioned young male staffers. Hoyer himself told Massa's office to report the allegations to the Ethics committee within two days or Hoyer would do it for them.
After the story broke, Boehner demanded the appointment of a special investigative panel with subpoena power. He repeated his call on Tuesday, demanding an investigation "to determine what Democratic leaders knew about former Rep. Massa's behavior and what they did to protect the staff who were being subjected to this predator."
Hoyer's staff was first interviewed by Ethics investigators in March, and the committee is continuing to look into what the Democratic leaders knew and how they acted, according to the latest report.
In 2006, Republicans lost a House seat in Florida and suffered wider political damage when one of their House members, Rep. Mark Foley of Florida, resigned shortly before the election after being accused of sending inappropriate text messages to under-age male congressional pages.
The Massa scandal has already faded from most voters' minds, but a more in-depth investigation could help revive the issue, particularly if the results were released close to Election Day.